Innovative Mobile App for Value Education in Schools
A salient feature of the app is the ‘Values Forever’ section, which gives a clear idea as to how a lesson in a school textbook for any subject can be integrated with a positive value.
VITAL (Value Integrated Teaching And Learning) is a unique experiment in trying to incorporate positive values in the schooling process. It is an initiative of the Anandashram, a spiritual centre based near Kanhangad, in northern Kerala. In place of ‘Value Education’ as a separate subject for students, VITAL seeks to nurture awareness of values during the teaching and learning of every subject, even subjects like Maths and Physics that some might think are value-free. This, it does by providing teachers examples of a range of positive values embodied in real-life examples that they can link with their daily lessons and communicate to their students. In this way, the educational process becomes more relevant, and at the same time as receiving factual knowledge, students can imbibe moral insights. The values that VITAL seeks to promote are based on the fundamental duties mentioned in the Indian Constitution. In this way, they resonate with people of all faiths, not being sectarian in any way.
Recently, VITAL launched a mobile phone app, called ‘ME to WE’, a handy way to provide teachers value-based inputs that they can use in class (The app can be used by others too). The app’s name signifies VITAL’s conviction that education should be a process through which individuals learn to reach out, contribute and pay back to the larger society and the natural environment, recognizing the interdependence of all beings. In this way, students can learn to grow from concern with just oneself (‘me’) to connect with and care for the rest of the cosmos (‘we’), which is what values are about.
The ‘ME to WE’ app can be downloaded free of cost. Subscribers get a daily motivational quote, and on important days, they receive a special message, highlighting its significance. They also get regular inspirational anecdotes, images and videos based on real-life events and incidents that embody different positive values which they can share with their students. A salient feature of the app is the ‘Values Forever’ section, which gives a clear idea as to how a lesson in a school textbook for any subject can be integrated with a positive value, this being illustrated with the help of an appropriate and inspiring real-life incident.
The app is in English, but much of its content is also available in other languages – Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. It is available on Google Play store and Apple App Store as well.
(For more details about VITAL and its work, see www.vitalforeducation.org)